Rice with Saffron, Chicken, Orange Zest and Pistachios - Shirin Polo Recipe
Rice with Saffron, Chicken, Orange Zest and Pistachios - Shirin Polo
Flavors of Iran
Total time: more than 2 hours

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: About 90 minutes

Difficulty: Average
Chef's Note

Delicious and unusual… the combination of sweet and savoury makes for a unique gastronomic experience.
Keep the cooking liquid from the chicken as the base for a soup.
You could also use leftover cooked chicken in this recipe.

For 4 servings
- Zest of 2 oranges, cut into thin strips
- 3 carrots, cut into thin sticks
- 250 ml (1 cup) blanched almonds
- 175 ml (3/4 cup) sugar
- 60 g (1/4 cup) chopped unsalted pistachios
- 1.5 kg (3 lb.) Chicken breasts
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
- Salt, pepper and turmeric
- 500 ml (2 cups) uncooked Rice
- 2 onions, quartered
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) butter
- A pinch of Saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp. boiling water (optional)
- 1.25 liters (5 cups) water
  1. place the orange zest in a small saucepan; cover with water;
  2. bring to a boil; remove from the heat, refresh under cold water and drain;
  3. place the butter in a saucepan with the carrots and cook for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender;
  4. add the orange zest, almonds, sugar and saffron to the carrots; cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes;
  5. add the pistachios and cook 5 minutes longer;
  6. meanwhile, in a hot skillet, brown the chicken on both sides in oil; remove the chicken and set aside; pour off the fat and return the chicken to the pan;
  7. season the chicken with salt; arrange the onions on top; pour the water over and bring to a boil over high heat; cover; reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and tender;
  8. bone the chicken if necessary;
  9. while the chicken is cooking, cook the rice according to the traditional Iranian method;
  10. preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F);
  11. butter a large rectangular dish; layer in half of the rice; add half the chicken; cover with half the garnish (almonds, carrots, etc.);
    repeat the layering, cover well and bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot.
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